On NOT being a Minister

It is Sunday morning, and I have no sermon to preach and no Bible Study to prepare.  I will attend church, but I will not be expected to serve Communion or set up mid-week pastoral appointments.  I have no mailbox to check in the church office.  I have nothing to print out, no copies to…

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1-Year into the PhD: 12 Months of Living Squeamishly

[The map above is an inset in a map of “The Bishopric and Citie of Durham”—the inset shows the peninsula where I study, between the castle and cathedral.  You can find more of these at www.oldmap.co.uk] “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make…

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Our Life in England and the PhD: Year One

The 8th of August, 2011.  I will not forget that date.  After ten years of wondering, thinking, praying and making plans for a UK PhD program, that was the day of departure.  That was the day when my wife and I—via a family-led carpool, three planes, a double-decker bus, a southbound train out of Scotland,…

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Checking back in with Jason Byassee (pt. 1): Theology, Writing, Social Media & the Local Church

For our series on “Loving the Church” in all its grit, grime and glory, we had some exchanges with Jason Byassee.  Before accepting an appointment as Senior Minister at Boone United Methodist Church (North Carolina), Jason worked at Duke Divinity School, heading up their Center for Theology, Writing and Media.  Since a lot of our…

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Responding to Gerald Heistand on the “Ecclesial Theologian”

I have been writing on the vocational idea of the “pastor-theologian.”  The recent series of posts was inspired by Doug Sweeney’s article at the Gospel Coalition, whose “call and agenda” should be received with both excitement and urgency. Related to these thoughts, I recommend this post by Mark Stevens who is studying Eugene Peterson’s model…

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Pastors, Preaching, and the Academy’s Process of Peer-Review

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1) After almost a decade of pastoral ministry, I am now firmly ensconced within the academic world, getting my feet wet in a New Testament doctoral program.  Being situated quite deeply within…

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Durham New Testament Seminar—Michaelmas, 2011

Below is the schedule for the weekly New Testament seminar at Durham University.  Note that there are discussions previewing two books that will likely become major works in their respective fields.  John Barclay will be presenting on Paul and Gift, and my supervisor, Francis Watson, will be presenting on Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective.  Many…

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